Bjarne Pedersen bags Vojens wild card

Bjarne Pedersen celebrated his World Championship return for 2012 by landing the wild card for the FIM Dansk Metal Nordic Speedway Grand Prix at Danish track Vojens on September 10.

The Ryde-born racer, who last served as a full-time SGP star in 2008, finished second in the GP Challenge at Vetlanda last Saturday to book his spot in next year's field. But the Holstebro star will get a brief taste of the competition this season when he dons the No.16 race jacket at Vojens.

Pedersen starred in Event One of the FIM Speedway World Cup at the Vojens Speedway Center on July 9 and top-scored with 12 points as Denmark stormed straight into the SWC Final.

He has also led British Elite League club Eastbourne into the play-off race and is part of Indianerna's table-topping team in Sweden. But there is no doubt getting back into the World Championship for next year was Pedersen's top priority.

The former world No.6 failed to reach the top eight in 2006, 2007 and 2008 and it was clear he had fallen out of love with SGP racing.

But the 33-year-old says his hunger to become world champion has returned. He said: "It's difficult to explain, but this year I didn't do the qualifiers because I felt I had to do them. I did them because I wanted to be there. I wanted to win the big meetings again and that desire has come from inside of me. That's probably the most important thing.

"I've always said that if I really want it, I know I can go out and do it. I've gone through the qualifier a few times before.

"But it's not just about saying that you want to get into the Grand Prix; you have to get your head down and get things sorted out. I got into the top three and that was my goal before the season."

Pedersen picked up two wins and three seconds in his Vetlanda heats to book his 2012 SGP place along with meeting winner Antonio Lindback and third-placed Piotr Protasiewicz. But the Dane is not thinking about his permanent return to the big time just yet and admits his big result is still sinking in.

He said: "I think it will probably feel better and better in the next couple of days. Everything happened so quickly. In a couple of week's time, I will realise how important that meeting was. But of course, it's great to have another go in the Grand Prix."

Asked his SGP target for 2012, Pedersen replied: "I haven't thought for one minute about that. It's something I'll do in the winter with the people around me. It's important everyone knows what the goal is. I'm not focusing on next year right now. I have some clubs I need to do well for at the end of the season. All my focus is back on the league meetings now."

Pedersen will be joined in Vojens by track reserves Michael Jepsen Jensen and Mikkel Michelsen. Jepsen Jensen, who races for Vojens in the Danish Super League, dons the No.17 race jacket, while Slangerup rider Michelsen will wear No.18.

The referee for the meeting is Frank Ziegler from Germany.